1975 Bricklin SV-1 5.8 liter V8 from North America


A ewe in a Ferrari jacket


The SV-1 had an air conditioning system that could best be described as marginal. The manually operated windows would occasionally leave their tracks and fall into the framework of the gull-wing door. The VDO gauges on the car resembled an F-14 Tomcat, but were as inaccurate as a Russian missile.

General Comments:

In 1974 Malcolm Bricklin introduced his "safety vehicle one" to the world. The Bricklin SV-1 was to be the first sports car that was engineered to keep you alive while you drove suicidal.

The only problem was that this car couldn't reach suicidal speeds.

The skin of the car resembled a Datsun Z car that had finally grown up. Its gull-wing doors emulated the Mercedes-Benz 300 series, but its performance was more like that of a Ford Granada, from whence the chassis and drive train came.

You could easily impress friends with a speedometer that had more error than a weather forecast. However, you had not better tangle with even the most docile Corvette.

One evening I made the unfortunate choice of challenging a 1976 Chevrolet Corvette to a drag race when I had a friend in the Bricklin.

Anyone who knows anything about Corvettes knows that the '76 was one of the slower of the modern 'Vettes. Not only did this fellow leave my Bricklin, he also gave me a "thumbs down" sign while doing so.

The entire charade made me realize that the SV-1 was more akin to a VW powered kit car than the Ford Corvette it pretended to be.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 17th April, 2002

12th Aug 2002, 16:04

Well, validity of a review depends a good deal on accuracy and generalizability. I'm not sure what this person was driving, but if it was a Bricklin, it was in very poor shape. Something "bargain hunters" often end up with. Now, if I bought a Ferrari for 3000 dollars and then discovered my bargain was a POS, does that mean Ferraris are POS or just what's between my ears? Shopping for a classic automobile takes a great deal of study and help from those who are familiar with the car. You may not find the bargain you dreamed of, but you won't find a sheep in a wolf's clothing either. Every one dollar you "save" when bargain hunting for a classic vehicle often turns into 3 dollars more in debt you will become restoring your bargain. Finally, it is *not* a Ford chassis and with the most bullet proof frame in the industry--hence, the SV (safety vehicle) nomenclature--its not only on par with the era's vette, it was much safer. Apparently the '76 vette this unfortunate soul raced with was not a bargain hunter. If you can only afford a kit car, then that's what you should buy. If you want a Bricklin that is in good form, i.e., working gauges, etc., be prepared to open your wallet BEFORE you open your mouth.

Sam McKinley.